Moving to Edmonton....should we do it? Young British family

Happy New year!!!!
As a family just considering moving to Edmonton/Canada for a few years to work, study and experience your lovely country, there seems to be quite a bit of negativity about Edmonton!! I would be vvvvvvvvvv interested in opinions on moving to Edmonton from London....I am a bit scared by the prospect as I worry that Edmonton is a little small and provincial for me (sorry!), but my husband is a sports nut and considering doing a sport PHd at the uni. I am a Speech and Language Therapist/Pathologist and I know my qualifications are transferrable (with the most ludicrously bureaucratic process in Canada!!!) I like good shops, cafes, restaurants in local communites where you can walk to, with community centres with kids clubs, libraries, museums, dance (to watch), theatre...etc.. I am not a big fan of driving everywhere, especially with 2 small kids although I imagine it would be a necessity. And accomodation sounds a nightmare from what I havew read. Can I ask if it is possible to live in Old Strathcona as that seems the place that sounds more to my liking????. Bearing in mind cost of living in Edmonton I imagine is much much less than London where living in an average 3 bed house in an average area costs over $1m to buy or $4,500 per month rental! Any avice on childcare either? I have two children, a baby and a 2 year old. Is it cheap (here I pay $1600 a month for 2 days a week childcare...and that's cheap!)??
PLEASE help need guidance as I need to get my professional qualifications converted and that costs a fortune, so I am keen to make a decision asap! Thanks ++++
Its cold in northern Alberta. -40 in the winter isn't uncommon. Perhaps Karrie can elucidate more on the culture of the city, but my guess is that it is several steps below London though there are a few good festivals, and Edmontonians say its better than Calgary. Driving is nowhere near as bad as it is in London. The average house price went from $200,000 to $400,000 in about three years because of the oil boom, but prices have fallen a bit over the past few months. Lots of Canadians have moved there for work.

I used to go to Edmonton semi-regularly when I lived in Canada, and visiting, it wasn't my favourite city. I have several friends who have moved there and they quite like it. But I come from Saskatchewan, so my frame of reference is certainly different than yours. lol
Thanks! I obviously know that it is going to be very different to london, but I have lived in London for 16 years and seen it and done it all (well a lot of it).....time for a change, just a bit anxious about the size of the change. We wanted to go to Toronto (boo hoo....really want to!) but this amazing Phd offer has come up for my husband, the specific industry he works in is very limited and Uni of Alberta in Edmonton has great sports links and lots of funding, great academics. -40 sounds bloody cold though, I can't imagine what that must be like, we all get our knickers in a twist if it gets down to -1 here! The world ends when there is ice and snow in London, trains stop, buses stop, schools close, hospitals cancel patients!!! I know Canadians are all set up for it though. Whats the summer like? Some websites would have you believe it's like being in the carribean!
Summers are warmer than they are in London (I lived in London for a year). It often gets up to +30C, and +25C is common in June, July and August.

Its cold - trust me, that's why I live in Florida now - but its a dry cold. Living in London, the cold dampness gets into your bones, and I never really got warm there in winter. That's different in Edmonton. Oddly -20 or even -40 isn't that bad, as long as there is no wind. But if there's a 5 mph, its killer. As you might imagine, nothing stops when its -40 in Edmonton. People just get on with life. I never had a school day canceled in winter.

The mountains are beautiful, which are a 3-4 hour drive away. The Rockies are fantastic.

I think if your husband has an amazing offer, take it. If I had an amazing offer and had to go to Edmonton, I'd do it.
I was born in Edmonton and still live here 47 years later, There is theater, festivals galore, friendly people (for the most part) the worlds largest mall, once in a while in the winter we get a chinook - which is a warm front that comes in from over the Rockie Mountains and it's like spring for a few days to a week. last time I heard child care was around 900.00 per child per month. it's not the capital of the world like London, but it ain't bad.
I moved to Edmonton about 5 months ago for school and it is not to bad, great University. I lived in and around Calgary for about 7 years and I am glad to get away from there.
I've been in Edmonton for about 3 months now. So far it's been going great. Nice people. I'm really enjoying life here.

But today I got my first taste of Edmonton road rage, and it wasn't pretty. I pulled out of a parking lot onto a busy street, checking for oncoming traffic first of course. The coast was clear and as I pulled out onto the street I spotted a car coming around the corner into the intersection about 500 feet away, nearly taking the turn on two wheels and proceeding up the road towards me at breakneck speed. I gunned my vehicle to get up to speed but he came straight on and nearly barrelled into the back of my car. He then pulled out around me and sped off up the road, fishtailing all the way. But the moron came to a stop at a red light and that's when I pulled up beside him and rolled down my window. All I did was shake my head at the goof and point my finger at him. Sheesh, you'd think I'd shot his dog or something. His passenger then went into a rage, screaming some incoherent crack-induced gibberish. I smiled at him and blew him a kiss, which only caused the idiot to froth at the mouth and roll his eyes up into his head as if he was going into a road rage coma. Hahaha....thanks Edmonton for some of the best entertainment I've enjoyed in your city so far.

Word to the hot rod drivers....slow the fvck down. Where the hell are ya goin' in such a hurry? It's all fun and games until someone loses a life....

Otherwise, great city...
Word to the wise.... don't pick fights with the meth heads. Someone driving like that, you just shrug it off. Ending up dead because you pissed off someone when they're high or fighting with someone or whatever the hell might be going on in that vehicle, doesn't do anyone any good. And it won't really prove your point very effectively!
A few months ago I experienced a similar incident, but I kept my cool and was justly rewarded when I caught up to the guy and he was pulled over and the police were checking his car. ( I couldn't resist pointing my finger and laughing at him)
Yes, with police around it's fine to taunt the meth heads. Until then... NO!
Thanks for the advice Karrie. I must have been having a bad day. Most times I would turn a blind eye and look away, not wanting to draw too much attention. You know, the Canadian way? But these punks are starting to get my Irish up.

Lester, you were lucky a cop was nearby. That must have been sweet to see them get their due. I wasn't so lucky.

Still wanted to put my boot up his keister though.

Alberta oughta take a look at the new speeding laws in Ontario. A $10,000 fine and impound the vehicle should take care of the problem.

Otherwise, Edmonton, yeah...very nice city.
oooh sounds fun driving! People are nuts here in London too, but I too try not to get involved as it can be very dangerous. Have heard some very lovely things about Edmonton and life there so am rather excited! And everyone has been vvvvvv friendly, much appreciated!
if it's city life you're after, edmonton's not bad. It's definitely not london by any means but it does have a culture and even though it's fairly young as cities go, it's trying hard to be cool, and succeeding in places. Don't bother going downtown, though, cos there's nothing there. All the fun interesting stores are south of the river around whyte avenue. the university is GIANT and seething with interesting stuff to do
you'd still be better off in newfoundland, if you could only get a job there :0)

Newfoundland sucks, and so does any Brit who chooses it over Edmonton. ppffffttttt!!!!

So there! *stomps a foot and mopes off*

Its cold - trust me, that's why I live in Florida now - but its a dry cold.

The weather really only matters if you work outside to be honest. For those going from their car to the office or to their doorway the cold becomes irrelevant. But I work outside all day and I just dress warm and I'm fine. The coldest it has gotten here this winter so far was maybe -28 with the wind chill. From what I have heard days that are -40 in Edmonton are uncommon and if they do happen if maybe lasts a few days then warms up again. That is one thing you would have to adjust to is the fluctuation in temperature. Like today it was -20 this morning then this afternoon it was -4. One day it can be -24 then next it could be -2. As you also said it is also mostly a dry cold which is quite different and really not as bad as it sounds. I think some people make too much of winter here when really it is nothing at all. I came from a supposedly mild climate and I found it colder there than it is here.
lol it is not that cold in Edmonton. I've experienced maybe two weeks of it being really cold here from September - March, and I stand outside waiting for the bus every morning. The public transit in Edmonton is not that great but they are expanding the LRT quite a bit in the future.
Hi Movingtocanada,

I am a dual UK/Canadian citizen.
I work in the UK and live in Alberta.
I lived and have worked for 10 years in Edmonton and now reside in Calgary.
I am now posting from the UK and have a family in both Canada/UK.
So here is my take on it:
Edmonton is not and will never be a city like London, New York or Tokyo.
But that in a way is a good thing.
In my opinion you WILL need a vehicle to commute about as the transit system WILL NOT
be up to you past experience's.
Edmonton will be a far cheaper place to live and raise a family.
Edmonton is a growing community with a lot of support for its sporting community.
The U of A is a good place to be.
My wife is at present with the University of Calgary and I understand the hassle over qualifications, all you can do is slog through the paperwork and jump through the hoops.
Alberta and for that matter Edmonton is a growing and very successful place at the moment
primarily because of its raw material exports.
It will be a strange and different place for a little while but so what....most people who live in Alberta are from someplace else so join the crowd.
If you don't like it in Canada you can always go back to the UK as a last resort.
Better to have given it a shot than not.
The only real hassle is dumping all your 220v electronics and remember all your DVDs and games will be out of zone as well.
The food/ restaurant's in Edmonton are actually pretty good.
The facilities/schools/hospitals are pretty comparable.
If you enjoy the outdoors/sports/recreational activities you are probably better of in Edmonton.
Go. If you don't you'll regret it later. I'm from Canada and live in the UK now, take the chance and enjoy it.

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